Monday, December 31, 2012

Messenger Bag Embroirdery

To begin your project you will need a piece of fabric. I used Aida 18 ct. If you are using this type of fabric, you will want to stabilize the ends of the fabric. This is a simple task. All you need to do is fold the edges behind the fabric and sew in place. If you decide not to do this, your fabric will start to come apart.

Now you will need to transfer your design. Again if using the Aida, you can just place the design underneath the fabric and trace the design. If you are using the design to place on your bag, this bag, then there are a couple of methods you could use.
One is called pouncing. You will begin by punching holes along your design lines. You will then place the design on your bag; and, using pouncing powder (chalk) you will transfer the design. The second method is the one that I used. Place your design on the bag and sew it in place. You will then use running stitch to transfer the design to the bag. Remove the paper from your bag. Once the design is stitched on the bag, you will remove the running stitches.

 Next you will stitch the first trinity knot lines. These stitches are done in heavy chain stitch. This site is a great resource on how to accomplish this stitch.
 Next you will make the Pekinese stitch. This stitch begins with a line of back stitch. The stitch is then completed by making little loops in the stitches. Below is an illustration so you can better understand the description. You can make the loops tightly packed, like in the inner ring. Or you can make the loops farther apart like the outer ring.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Butterfly and Fern

This is the Butterfly and Fern pillowcase kit from Dimensions. I bought this about two or three years ago. I have been working on it off and on during that time. This first pillowcase turned out alright for one of my first embroidery projects.

The above picture shows a close up of the pillowcase. There are several aspects of the design that I would like to change. Mainly that there was too many strands of thread used at one time. To me it makes the design look bulky and harsh. I was also planning to do some of the stitches a little differently in order to make the design more my own.

Happy sewing!

Monday, December 24, 2012

New Yarn

I've decided to crochet a baby afghan for my daughter. I also decided to order the yarn for it online.
Ordering yarn online can be tricky business. The colors in the pictures are never exactly right. You also don't get feel the texture of the yarn. Some online businesses try to combat this buy taking extremely close pictures of the yarn. With the pros and cons in mind, I decided to order some anyway.
These yarns are from Turkey. They are from the Kortupu Junior line. I also have one from the Bebe line. This is an acrylic blended yarn. I wanted acrylic because I knew a baby afghan needed to be durable. This yarn is extremely soft and feels very sturdy.
Happy crocheting!
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ruffle Armwarmers

These ruffled arm warmers are a modified version of the KnitPicks ruffled wrist warmer pattern. I liked the yarn that they used in the pattern and the ruffle at the end. From there however, I wanted to change the way it looked on my arm by changing the length and the middle design.
The original pattern states that it is suitable for a beginner. I would have to say that probably isn't the case. There are a number of techniques used that I don't think I used as a beginner. There's a three needle "bind off", YO, and central double decreases and a picot bind off to name a few.


MC sport weight yarn 200 yds
CC DK weight yarn 200 yds
US size 4, 5, 6 DPNS (5 each)
Tapestry needle


24 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in St st in main color. These armwarmers fit a wrist 6 to 8 inches around.


Using the KnitPicks pattern here, follow the instructions for the ruffles in both colors stopping with that pattern at the end of the main color ruffle before the St st begins.
K plain for 4 rounds instead of the 2 in the pattern.
 Attach the ruffles with a three needle bind off except do not bind off of course. To do this, insert the CC ruffle into the hole of the MC ruffle, lining up the needles and stitches. Knit two together using one st from the MC and one from the CC. Repeat all the way around.
Knit for 3 rounds
Rnd 4: p
Rnd 5: *YO, K2tog; rep from*
Rnd 6: p
Rearrange the stitches on three needles 12, 12, and 12
Knit three rounds
Rnd 4: k across
Rnd 5: k needle 1; K2, YO, K3, Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, K3, YO, K1; k needle 3
Rnd 6: k across
Rnd 7: k needle 1; K1, P1, K1, YO, K2, Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, K2, YO, K1, P1; k needle 3
Rnd 8: k needle 1; K1, P1, K9, P1; k needle 3
Rnd 9: k needle 1; K1, P1, K2, YO, K1, Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, K1, YO, K2, P1; k needle 3
Rnd 10: k needle 1; K1, P1, K9, P1; k needle 3
Rnd 11: k needle 1; K1, P1, K3, YO, Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K3, P1; k needle 3
repeat rows 4 - 11 two more times.
K 3 rounds
Rnd 4: P
Rnd 5: *YO, K2tog; rep from *
K 4 rounds
BO using the picot bindoff from the KnitPicks pattern
Weave in ends and block.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Trinity Knot

This is the knot I used on my embroidered small messenger bag. This is part I on how to create the design.


  • compass
  • ruler
  • eraser
  • pencil
  • paper (lightweight paper is best)


To begin, widen your compass to about two inches. Draw a circle in the middle of your paper. Mark the 12 o'clock spot on your paper. Place the point of your compass on this spot. Now use your compass to mark where it crosses the initial circle on each side.
Place your compass on one of the marks you just made. Trace a semicircle within your original circle. The semi-circle should begin at 12 o'clock and end at around seven or five depending on which side you started on. Repeat on the other side. Your semi-circles should cross at the centre point.
Place your compass at the lower point of one of the two semi-circles. Mark a spot roughly at the six o'clock spot on the original circle. Now move the compass to this spot and mark another semi-circle from side to side within the initial circle.
You should now enlarge your compass to roughly 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches. You will do the same steps as above. Make two semi-circles where your upper marks are making sure to extend them beyond the first semi-circle. Make a semi-circle at the bottom, extending that one as well. Now erase your original circle. You have the beginnings of the trinity knot.
Look at the center of your knot. You want to create the illusion that the knot passes over and under itself. To do this, start at the top and trace with your finger down to the first intersection. Erase the horizontal crossing lines. Continue to the next crossing and erase the vertical lines. Continue to the final crossing and erase those vertical lines as well. Now you have the trinity knot.
Finally, to draw the circles. Widen your compass to 1 inch. Draw your first circle. Now widen your compass to 1 1/4 inches and draw your circle. Again, to get the illusion you'll have to erase some lines. Starting from the top loop, left side, erase the vertical lines. Trace with your finger to the second loop and erase the newly made circle lines. Move to the next cross over and remove the vertical lines. Now move to the third loop and remove the newly made circle lines. On to the next cross over and remove the horizontal lines. Finally, to the first loop right side and remove horizontal new circle lines.
For the larger circle, widen your compass to 1 3/4 inches and draw the circle. Widen the compass again to 2 inches and draw the circle. Beginning again with the top loop left side, erase the new circle lines. For the next crossing erase the vertical lines. the one after erase the new circle line. For the third loop, erase the horizontal lines then the circle lines. Finally, for the last cross over, erase the vertical lines.
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kirby Armwarmers

In honor of Kirby, I made these armwarmers. I think he(she?) is probably one of the cutest characters made even if he was originally just for testing. And really, who doesn't go on a rampage when their cake gets stolen?!
When I decided to make Kirby inspired armwarmers I knew that I wanted them to be long. New England has a tendency to be cold. I also knew I wanted to make them a little thick. Worsted weight yarn would be best for that. To be honest though, I would use a lighter weight next time. I think it would make the process much easier.
Making the design was easy enough. Actually making the armwarmers, maybe not so much. There was a lot of unraveling and re-knitting involved. I originally was using the stranding method, then, realizing it wasn't working, settled on intarsia. Thinking on it afterwards though, double knitting might have been best for some elements.

These armwarmers are knitted flat. A seam is stitched on the side to make a tube with a hole for the thumb. The finishing is fairly simple.
This design makes an armwarmers that has an eight inch forearm circumference and is about 12 inches long. The pattern itself is worked over 25 stitches. A stitch marker can be used to make knitting easier.


  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch marker
  • US #4 straight needles
  • 1 ball each of Bernat Satin worsted weight in light blue, antique rose, snow, ebony, and sea shell
  • 1 ball each of Impeccable worsted weight in rouge and royal


Gauge 23 st x 27 r = 4in please take the time to check your gauge.
Remember that the first stitch in every row is slipped.
CO 48 sts
2 x 2 rib for 1” (K2,P2)
St st for 8” on last row place marker for 25 st pattern and end with a wrong side row.
Work Kirby chart for either the right or left hand (intarsia). For left hand chart, Kirby is first 25 sts. For right hand chart, Kirby is last 25 sts.
2 x 2 rib for 1/2”
BO and weave in all ends
Sew side together with mattress stitch leaving a hole for the thumb.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Snow Crystal Quilt

In 2003 or there about, I began working in a quilt shop. I'd never really worked in retail before and I had never quilted. Actually, I was surprised and happy they offered me a job.
On my first day of work, I had the task of cutting fabric. I remember being worried about ruining everything even while the owner assured me it would be fine.
The fabric I was cutting was absolutely gorgeous. It was a reproduction 30's print. I loved looking at and touching the fabric. That's when my love of quilting began. In fact, my first quilt has those reproduction 30's I still love.
From time to time, the owner, noticing I was really getting into quilting and being a quilter herself, would give me older magazines for project inspiration. Australian Patchwork and Quilting was one such magazine.
On page 84 of volume 10 number 8 is a quilt I knew I had to make. It's called Snow Crystal and it's by Susan Lacuone. It's been a few years but I've finally gotten a chance to make it.
I've got all of my fabric strips cut and the paper foundations marked. I'm using flannel fabrics in white, blue, and dark blue. I cut my fabric with scissors instead of a rotary cutter but you should use one if you can.
My sewing machine and I have had our share of differences. I am hoping to put those aside when I make this. I may have to sew by hand again like in my cat quilt, but that's another story!
 Happy quilting!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lucky Stars

This is the Lucky Stars quilt from Atkinson Designs; a very fun easy quilt for a beginner.
This is the first quilt I made with triangles. I do think they may be "cheater" triangles though because I didn't actually cut out triangles.
The instructions with this design were extremely easy to follow and very concise. There were detailed instructions on how to rotary cut and piecing in general. Another good aspect of the pattern instructions is that they had little things called "Terry's Tips" which I found very useful, especially if this is one of your first quilts and no one is around to teach quilting.
I love making things with lots of color and this quilt allowed me to do that without it looking terrible. I believe I made the queen size version of this quilt using 42 different fat quarters. I think that's enough color to last a while. The finished size is around 90" x 105".

 Happy quilting!